The pull-type combine sitting in Roger and Nick Wenning’s shop near Greensburg, Ind., looks like it’s ready to pull out and put to work. It still sports lots of red paint for a machine that’s roughly 60 years old.
“We found it in an auction in Wisconsin, and the previous owner was very particular,” Nick explains. “Even after the sale everything went back in the shed until the new owner arrived to pick it up. All it really needs is a belt, and it should be ready to go.”
The Wennings don’t harvest with the Massey combines and corn pickers they collect, except to show one off once in a while. Nick figures this pull-type 35 won’t even need repainting.
The Massey-Harris pull-type 35 represents a combine produced by a company in transition. Produced around the end of the 1950s and beginning of the 1960s, Massey-Harris was rolled into Massey Ferguson.
At first, Massey-Harris continued producing tractors and combines with the Massey-Harris name and decals. Eventually, the decals changed to Massey Ferguson, and the Massey-Harris name disappeared. But in the transition, there were machines like this one, which bore Massey-Harris decals but a Massey Ferguson emblem on the back of the combine. The serial number plate also says it was made by Massey Ferguson, Nick notes.
IN-BETWEEN MACHINE: There aren’t too many combines with one name on a decal and another name on the emblem and serial number plate. This Massey-Harris 35 pull-type machine carries a Massey Ferguson serial number plate.
Chatter on yesterdaystractors.com captures the feel for this time in machinery evolution. Some people responding to a thread about Massey-Harris combines condemn Harry Ferguson for ruining a great line of Massey-Harris tractors. Others praise him for bringing the three-point hitch to the tractor industry.
Similarly, some recall owning and operating either Massey-Harris or Massey Ferguson 35 combines, or Massey-Harris 92 or 92 Super self-propelled combines. In fact, more 35 model combines were self-propelled than were pull-types.
One person describes the Massey-Harris 35 as a “cute” combine. Another says the only good thing about it was that it was “cute.” Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, even when it comes to machinery.
Massey Ferguson, which absorbed Massey-Harris, was later purchased by Agco. The equipment line still exists today.
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